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What is Bloatware?

by Cyberguy | Last Updated | October 23, 2021
Cyber Dictionary

Bloatware on computers and other digital devices is similar to junk mail stuffed into your home mailboxes: unwanted and ignored until there’s just too much of it.

“Bloatware” has become the term that describes many different types of applications with one common trait: they’re unnecessary. They can also expose you to a bunch of cybersecurity risks. If the bloatware connects to the internet, it exposes your device to malware by introducing a host of apps designed to exploit your computing power and personal information, including financial information.

Examples of bloatware include:

Signs you have bloatware

Pre-installed Bloatware

Software companies pay device manufacturers and distributors to install demonstration versions of their products onto devices, hoping customers will buy the full versions.

Unless you actively search for and delete demonstration software — and we rarely do — these programs remain on your devices and become part of a growing mound of bloatware. Gradually sucking all of your device’s processing power and grinding it to a halt. Opening even small apps on overloaded storage becomes a total pain. 

How to get rid of Bloatware

There are free tools that can help get rid of bloatware. Some that are available include:

These tools use crowdsourcing information to recommend which apps users might want to keep on their devices and those to get rid of it.

How to get rid of bloatware

Quality Antivirus/Antimalware solutions can also detect adware and malware and alert you to its presence on your devices. Users are then typically given the choice of removing the app or quarantining them to prevent interaction with the system.

Unfortunately, bloatware isn’t going away anytime soon so it’s important to be aware of the threat and how to manage it.

 

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